‘Why do people follow you?’ I asked Jess this question and she modestly struggled to find answers. She said, ‘I think it’s mainly friends and family! I also think once people start following you, they can’t stop. If you let people in, they get hooked.’ I wonder if other bloggers/vloggers could pinpoint their USP. Do you know why people like reading/watching you? Does it help when you know?
I know why I follow Jess Cantoni, the blogger and YouTuber who runs two sites: ‘Jess Cantoni’ and ‘Jess Eats and Travels’ It’s because she is always so calm, considered and organised – whether it’s a book review, original recipe, an Insta Story about how she puts away her summer clothes to a YouTube video about a recent baby clothes haul, I feel like everything is ‘just-so.’ I like her attention to detail and she appeals to the ‘ordered’ side of me. *
Jess, 27, and now pregnant with her first baby due in February, started blogging mainly about food in 2014. She said, ‘I used blogging as an outlet to being creative and share my love of food. It was only after I got married in September 2015 that I considered blogging as a career. After a stint as a pastry chef, I decided to re-brand my blog and it became the name it is today (Jess Eats and Travels). I didn’t really take it too seriously back then. I had no idea about working with brands or the importance of promoting posts! It was only after an even longer stint teaching English as a foreign language that I decided I give blogging as career a go, and then I fell pregnant.’
Jess continued to blog about food and share recipes, but separated her content between two blogs in January this year and began blogging on ‘Jess Cantoni – Living Your Best Life’ about lifestyle: self-care tips, mental health, book reviews, weekly meal plans and blogger interviews like this one! She said, ‘I’d say my style is not too serious. I’m also pretty honest in my posts. I like to share as much as I’ll allow myself!’ On her Jess Cantoni site, I particularly like her book reviews and book haul On her Jess Eats and Travels blog, I loved Jess’s write up of her trip to Corfu and the pictures.
Jess, who has a degree in Publishing Media, is keen to focus more on YouTube as she is enjoying the ‘community.’ She also aims to write and YouTube about becoming a mother and hopes to attract a more local mummy audience. Some of her favourite YouTubers are, Kate Stutter and other people she admires are Charlotte Louise Taylor and MummyStevens and MummyMarston on Instagram.
On issues in blogging Jess said she is mostly interested in how numbers really do matter. She said, ‘It’s sad to say but it’s true how someone’s perspective on your blog can change when you have 100,000 followers as opposed to 1! There are so many things that comes along with a growing following, such as who you become friends with. It’s funny how some people won’t follow you back/reply to your messages just because they have a larger following than you. At the end of the day, we’re all people with the same end goal! I could write a blog post about this!’
Jess and I talked about the future for bloggers and whether people will continue to ‘read’ blogs or switch to ‘watching’ content. She said. ‘I personally think that not many people generally read blogs anymore. I know, I can’t believe I’m saying this having only just re-started my blog! Perhaps not within the next few years but definitely in the next ten years, there’s going to be a massive shift in the blogging world. Either we’ll all be doing it and the market is going to become so saturated that no-one will really have a chance, or we’ll all move over to something else, like YouTube perhaps. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic but I just don’t picture people going onto blogs to read their fave bloggers’ latest musings! I definitely think if blogging is going to survive, it’s going to come from evergreen content. It’s the only way we’ll get our views!’
So, what now for Jess? She said, ‘Now that I have a baby on the way, I’m going to be switching up the content on my lifestyle blog for sure. I’ll definitely be writing about pregnancy. I never thought I would say that but now that I’m in that situation, it’s the main thing on my mind! It’s like I suddenly have a bit of purpose with the lifestyle blog where before it felt a bit lost. I’m not sure what’s to become of my food/travel blog yet. I think I’m going to leave that one for now as I don’t think I can concentrate on both, plus having just started my YouTube channel up again, I don’t want to stress myself out!’
I’ll be looking forward to watching and reading about how Jess’s content evolves and of course, hearing about the new arrival in February!
*She’s also been a good supportive blogging friend since I started x